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Sussex County 4-H Staff

Local staff are responsible for overseeing and implementing the 4-H program in Sussex County. The New Jersey 4-H Program is conducted by members of the Department of 4-H Youth Development of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences . The members are county 4-H agents, who are members of the university faculty, and 4-H program associates, who are university staff. They work in cooperation with advisory groups, volunteers, and other agencies, to plan, implement, and evaluate local programs.  Additional support is provided by county-level 4-H program assistants, as well as state 4-H staff and extension specialists located at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

Dave Foord, Program Associate

Dave holds a BA in English Literature from Middlebury College and is working towards completion of an MS in Environmental Studies from Montclair State University. He has worked with youth and fostered environmental education in a variety of settings.

He first came to Sussex County in 1994 as an intern and later graduate assistant with the New Jersey School of Conservation in Stokes State Forest. Here he led and developed multidisciplinary environmental education programming. This work involved leading diverse classes such as stream studies, forest ecology, adventure challenge activities, colonial lifestyles and woodworking.

During the summers of ’94-‘97 Dave worked as an assistant director at Flying Moose Lodge, a wilderness camp for boys. His work focused on wilderness programming intended to enhance camper’s appreciation of the natural world while encouraging confidence and self reliance. Some of the activities he oversaw included canoeing, hiking, and camping.

In 1997 Dave joined the Paul F-Brandwein Institute as its assistant director. At the Institute he coordinated a grant from the Toyota USA Foundation to support a series of professional development programs for teachers over three summers. The Summer Leadership Institutes assembled leading educators from throughout the United States involved in outdoor learning, science and conservation education with their schools. Together participants shared their experiences and developed programs to advance the use of the outdoor environment as a context for learning.

Dave became the executive director for the Dutchess County Environmental Management Council (EMC) in 2001. The EMC is a not for profit organization working with local volunteers in advising county and municipal governments on issues affecting the local environment as well as providing environmental education to the public.

In 2006 he joined the Rutgers 4-H Youth Development Program as the Program Associate for Sussex County.

Michelle Teitsma, Program Assistant

Michelle became involved with Sussex County 4-H as a member in 1984. During her seven years as a 4-H horse club member, she distinguished herself through a series of outstanding public presentations including taking top honors at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round Up competition.

Michelle obtained a BA degree in Equine Science and Business Administration at Centenary College and is currently pursing a MA in History/Social Sciences.  Michelle’s background includes horse training, becoming a certified horse back riding instructor through American Riding Instruction Certification Program (ARICP), working for BASF as a marketing assistant, and a mother of two. 

She oversees a variety of programs with Sussex County 4-H including the Tricky Tray fundraiser and public presentations program. Along with her friend and colleague Abby Gildersleeve, she has developed the Sussex County 4-H public presentations program into the largest 4-H presentations program in New Jersey.